Domestic frozen prawns market is currently driven by IFB Agro and West Coast Fine Foods. The market is now set to get fragmented with the tobacco giant ITC Limited entering in the category with its brand ITC Masterchef. Moreover, with the rising demand for seafood in the country, existing frozen food players are expected to enter the frozen prawn's category in near future to expand their product portfolio in the frozen foods market.
India, as a country, provides an excellent opportunity for cultivation of various types of marine species. Also, India is rapidly emerging as a major aquaculture destination. The country has a century-old history of fishing farming, both along the coast as well as inland. As the world's leading exporter of frozen shrimps/ prawns, India for a long time has been the preferred choice for importers across the globe, particularly US, Japan and Vietnam. The demand for healthy convenience seafood has increased in the recent years as it requires minimum time for washing, peeling, and cutting. The rising disposable incomes have increased the purchasing power of the consumers towards frozen seafood. India is now one of the world's fastest growing markets for packaged processed fish and seafood, a category that includes frozen and canned products.
According to recently published report of Bonafide Research "India Frozen Prawns Market Overview, 2017-2020" frozen prawns is the fastest growing category in the frozen seafood market due to its huge demand in overseas countries. Due to geographical advantage, India has various species in prawns (shrimps) which are found in the coastal regions. Domestic frozen prawns market is driven by players like IFB agro, Forstar, West Coast Fine Foods, Gadre, Al Kabeer and Innovative Foods (Sumeru) who hold majority of the market share with multiple products in the market. All of their products are available in retail as well as HoReCa channels. Packaging of frozen prawns usually comes in 200 gram to 600 gram with price ranging between Rs. 180 to Rs. 450. Modernization of daily life has sought products that are easy to procure yet to do not comprise on quality. Fast paced lifestyle in metro and urban cities has made difficult for consumers to prepare or find good seafood which offers freshness and taste. As a result of which, people are moving towards frozen variants.
In June 2017, ITC Limited rolled out new products in the frozen prawns segment with its brand 'ITC Masterchef'. The company is currently targeting northern and central part of India. ITC has started the sale of products from top 200 retail outlets in India including modern retail chains in each city. It is also looking to sell its frozen prawns to restaurants and non-ITC hotels. Players who are dominant in the frozen prawn's category will face tough competition from ITC in coming years. Rising demand of frozen food, advancement in freezing technology and cold chain logistics has supported the sales of frozen seafood in the country. This is expected to increase the chances for entrance of new players like McCain Food Limited, Tyson Food, Amy's Kitchen etc. in the frozen prawn's category to expand their frozen food portfolio.
Major players operating in the frozen prawns market of India are Al Kabeer Exports Private Limited, Gadre Marine Export Private Limited, IFB Agro Industries Limited, Innovative Foods Limited and West Coast Fine Foods (India) Private Limited.